Video of CAROLINA MIRANDA of Cultivating Capital Presentation*(Please Note: There are chapters to facilitate navigation. Enjoy!)
Transcripts: Presentation 4:35 Uh, a little bit of background on what the process has been to get us here, what the upcoming changes are looking like. We’ll talk about core topics. You’re gonna be hearing a lot about that in coming, you know, the next couple of years cuz it’s a huge change. Um, and then we’ll start looking at what you can do to prepare for these requirements. And then just some questions that are coming up. I do encourage you as we’re going, um, to just drop your questions into the chat and Christopher and Rose are gonna help me to make sure that we gather those up at the end. So, um, my personal B Corp journey has been going on for more than a decade now. As Rose mentioned, she and I crossed paths before cultivating Capital even existed. Um, my last employer was a company in Berkeley called Greener Printer, and I helped them to certify. 5:27 And I, when I met Rose, I was like, You should work with Rose and, and Timothy. And so I was already, you know, like Rose said on the b2b, um, wavelength before B2B network even existed as we know it. And, um, and really I’ve just been a huge, huge supporter of B CORs since then. When I got Cultivating Capital started, um, there was no doubt in my mind that it was going to be a B Corp. And so we got certified in 2012 and since then I’ve been involved with, um, our B local. I’ve served on the B local board, I’ve supported our builds here. I’ve been very involved with the B Corp women CEOs, um, group for many years. I know that we have several, uh, women who are involved in that group, including Rose, who was one of the co-founders. So if there are any women CEOs on this call that are not yet plugged into that group, then I absolutely encourage you to reach out. 6:23 We’d love to have you get engaged. Um, uh, Greg here, give Greg a shout out, Uh, in Canada, he and I were both members of an outside Verifi, uh, pilot program that Blab did a couple of years ago where they were training consultants to help as analysts because we all know about this backlog and Blab has been working diligently to address that. Um, that year I was, uh, honored really to, uh, be awarded the B Corp Community Spotlight build drum. I mentioned that I’m gonna give a shout out to Nathan, who is my co awardee on that call. Um, so there’s a lot of just really great people in this community. And, um, most recently Cultivating Capital is one of the three, um, consulting partners for Blab on the Level program, which is providing support to women of color to help their businesses get certified as B Corp. 7:21 So I’m gonna give a shout out to Michelle from decade because Decade is one of the other, um, consulting partners along with Impact Growth Partners. I dunno if Jen or anybody on her team is here, but they’re the third ones. So that’s been my journey and you know, really all that Cultivating Capital does now is focus on how do we support others on their B Corp journeys. One of the things that has been a driving force for me in terms of the work that I do, is really recognizing that, yes, on a day to day basis, I help companies to get certified or re-certified as B CORs, but really this, the certification is just one component of a movement to really transform our economic system. And so I look at the work that we do as being in service of this movement that is, you know, larger than me, larger than cultivating capital, larger than anybody here. 8:16 And quite honestly, it’s a movement that can, um, I believe is going to outlive me, uh, and many of us that are here. So we, uh, you know, we have a number of different services that we offer and most recently, one of the ones that I wanna call your attention to is we are launching the B Impact collective, which is, um, an online community to support those that are also working on, um, advancing the B Corp movement. So basically B Corp enthusiasts. I’ve had some people compare this to a Facebook group, but it’s not Facebook. Um, I think Nathan called it a pre beehive. So it’s open to people who are not yet certified as B Corps. So stay tuned for that. And, um, and yes, so that’s just a little bit about my background and that is really just to say that when Blab kind of announce that this was coming up, that there are gonna be these new changes. 9:15 I have been keeping a very close eye on this since they announced it. And, uh, on September 23rd, they actually dropped a 90 page PDF that gave us kinda our first glimpse into what these changes are going to look like. And so being a big nerd when it comes down to be Corps and made, uh, you know, made myself a cup of coffee, I read the 90 page pdf, took some notes. I’m gonna be sharing with you some of my, um, takeaways and just some of my observations and hopefully giving you a better understanding of what’s coming up. So one of the things that I really want everybody to understand is that this is not, and undertaking that Blab is taking very lightly. So, you know, Rose mentioned that this is the most significant change to the standards, and it really is. There’s really, it’s really impossible, I think to overstate what a significant change this is. 10:10 Up until this point, um, you earn points for the good practices that you’re doing, you get up to 80, 80 has been that magic number, and you go through the verification process with vLab and then you get certified. All of us were here on this call. That’s what we have done, whether you’re founding B Corp like Rose was, or whether you just got certified in 2022, you have gone through that same process for 15 years. Now, what blab, um, they actually proposed this, you can see back in December of 20 this, this idea of should the requirements shift to actually include baseline requirements that every company would have to do in order to be a certified B Corp. And, um, they have been providing updates. You can see in spring of 2021, they’ve provided an update saying, you know, yes, there was pretty much resounding support for introducing baseline requirements. 11:08 Then they’ve provided a couple of updates and most recently, um, they’ve actually given us a draft of these new standards, which we’re gonna be taking a look at. So one thing, um, that for me is very striking is just really a lot of respect for Blab in terms of the stakeholder engagement opportunities that they have created. And at the end of, you know, these slides, I will share with you ways that you can actually provide feedback right now, and we’re gonna drop some links into the chat so that you can get access to all of this as well. So one of the questions that you know is, uh, a logical question to ask is why is vLab making this change? You know, they’ve had the impact assessment for 15 years. You know, it’s, it’s a proven process, but there are some very compelling reasons for looking at making this change. 12:08 One is really to kind of harness the collective impact of B Corpse. So the certification has been and will continue to be a way of identifying the leading companies that are really, um, at the forefront of how business can incorporate better social and environmental performance standards. But as B Corps, we have achieved that impact in different ways. So some companies do it because they’re doing, you know, they’re selling products with recycled materials, Other companies do it because they’re employee own, right? There’s been kind different paths to 80. And so that has resulted in companies having positive impact in different ways. What Blab is now introducing is this idea that if all B Corps engage in certain practices, we will actually be magnifying our own collective impact and really ensuring that we’re all taking meaningful action on the pressing issues of our time to that it is also going to help to communicate clearly what it means to be a B Corp. 13:18 So right now, sometimes it can be a little bit of a challenge, you know, well, what does it mean to be a B Corp? You know, you can say, well, it’s companies that are, you know, really doing well with social and environmental practices. You know, companies that are really kind of transforming, you know, how business operates. You can say a number of different things. Um, but now it’s going to be very clear that B CORs are companies that are doing very specific things. They’re taking these very specific actions. So you will be able to say all B CORs, for example, are actually, um, managing their, you know, their carbon footprint and, you know, uh, reducing their carbon impacts on their greenhouse gas emissions. And then also as we get clarity around the messaging, it also provides clarity to help prospective B-Corps understand what it takes to get, uh, certified and also to prepare for verification. 14:12 So these are some of the reasons behind the changes. And the biggest change that we’re all going to see is that that magic number of 80 is really going to be replaced with these core topics. And so Blab has identified 10 core topics, and in each of these core topics, there are going to be baseline requirements that all companies will have to do. So in the past, what we’ve seen, as I said, there’s multiple paths to 80, There’s been flexibility in terms of how companies can achieve the certification. That has been good because flexibility is always good, but it also means that, um, companies can be a certified B Corp even if they’re not really doing some things that can, you know, that are very important. I’ll, and I’ll just give one example. I know a company here in the Bay Area. I’m, I’m here in the San Francisco Bay area. 15:15 I know one B Corp that doesn’t do any recycling, and yet they’re B Corp. And so it’s like, well, you know, how, how does that work out, right? When you have some companies that are B Corps and, and it’s a great company. I’m not trying to, but I’m saying there are, um, some, there, there can be some discrepancies in terms of what companies are doing to get to that point of 80 points. So what Blab is introducing now is going to be very different. The other thing that’s worth noting is that when you go to re-certify, you have traditionally, you, you got 80 to get certified, you’ve gotta get 80 to get re-certified. Now they’re actually going to be looking at MA monitoring continuous impact. So actually having companies set goals and be able to show progress against those goals. So from the perspective of really kind of amplifying the positive impact that B-Corps are having, that is really something that, uh, Blab is really centering now in a way that, you know, it hasn’t been centered before, which I think is really positive. 16:28 So these 10 core topics that they’ve identified are the ones that you see here, and we’ll take a closer look at these. Um, so risk management is one, purpose and stakeholder governance, another fair wages worker engagement, Jedi practices justice, um, equity, diversity and inclusion, Human rights, climate action, circularity and environmental stewardship, Collective Action and Impact management. So in kind of these that you see on the left hand side, there’s very specific requirements that B CORs are going to have to meet. The impact management is really, um, going to be a place like they’re gonna require that all companies manage their impact. And the impact assessment is going to be the way that we’re going to do that, but it’s not going to be the center of everything as it has been. It’s not going to be a matter of do these things, get these points, and that’s how you’re going to become a B Corp. 17:35 So we can talk a little bit more about that. Um, one, one other thing that I do wanna just point out right now is, the key word here is proposed new performance requirements. None of this is finalized yet. What Blab is doing right now is they have just released this, they are seeking feedback on this, and then next year there’s gonna be another feedback. Um, then the next year they’re gonna probably come back with the results of this current round of feedback, and then there’s gonna be another round of, uh, public feedback and then it’s all gonna be finalized a year from now. So just understand that everything that we’re going over right now is not yet finalized and you all have an opportunity to provide feedback and, um, we’re just working right now with the information that we have available at this particular point in time. 18:37 Okay, so these are the specific new requirements. And one thing that I wanna call your attention to is there are 10 core topics, but as you’ll see, there could be more than one requirement in each particular topic. So when, when I looked at all the different requirements across these 10 core topics, it looks like roughly there’s, um, I forget exactly how many, somewhere around 30 requirements that are being proposed. So to give you an idea of what they are in terms of purpose and stakeholder governance, it’s going to require that the company have a definite purpose statement, for example, um, that the company considers impacts on all stakeholders, excuse me, at the highest level of governance, explicitly look at purpose, impact, and stakeholder consideration. So you won’t be able to, if these go forward, you won’t be able to have a board of directors that’s just looking at the financials and isn’t looking at social and environmental practices, for example. 19:44 And then of course, you have to, um, make progress towards your purpose, uh, be c requirements and be transparent. Transparency is definitely one of the themes that I see recurring in these new performance requirements. So that’s the purpose in stakeholder governance, the proposed requirements, the and worker engagement, it’s keeping workers informed and achieving worker, high worker engagement results or taking actions to improve them. Um, fair wages, living wage is, you know, paying a living wage is one of the proposed requirements. So if this goes through, what it means is if you don’t pay a living wage, you won’t be able to be a B Corp, for example. That’s one of the implications of this. Um, I know that Blab is collaborating with a lot of partners. They’re, um, and they’re, they’re seeking stakeholder input, not just from certified B CORs, but from partners. And so they are working with, say, the Living Wage Coalition, for example, to look at, you know, what, what does this look like and what other resources that can be made available to support B Corps here. 20:57 Uh, another one is reducing wage disparities. So, you know, we all know that people get paid different wages like men and women, you know, uh, based on race, things like that. The idea is that B CORs are gonna be at the forefront of reducing those inequities. Uh, and then for companies that are, um, say in agriculture, then they’re gonna be looking at their, uh, the farmers and their supply chain. So a lot of really significant changes on Jedi practices, They’re gonna be looking at tracking statistics, managing Jedi risks and Jedi opportunities. That’s very vague, but in, uh, a couple minutes I’m gonna show you a couple of snapshots of how Blab is proposing that B Corps meet these requirements. Um, human rights, uh, this is, you know, this is really a significant section that is not called out as on the impact assessment as it is right now. 22:02 It is one of the questions on the disclosure questionnaire, but it’s not like it’s own section, uh, anywhere on the impact assessment. So this is really a significant change that Blab is making to really bring this and, and really center it, uh, as something that B Corp should be looking at. So having a human rights policy, um, making sure that employees know the potential human rights impacts, having a strategy, having action plans to manage those impacts. That’s again, one of the themes that we’re seeing in these new proposed requirements is a lot of, in a lot of areas, it’s like, does the company have an action plan? And what are they doing to mitigate their impacts in this area? And then certainly looking at supplier, um, engagement and s supplier, um, efforts to address human rights impacts, um, because obviously that’s where a lot of the violations take place. 22:56 Climate action, this first one was no, no surprise to me, I think it makes sense, is, uh, companies would have to track their greenhouse gas emissions. So right now you can be a B Court but not be tracking your greenhouse gas emissions. You know, Blab is proposing, let’s change that and let’s ensure that all B CORs are at a bare minimum tracking their emissions. Uh, and then also having a climate transition plan and having a track record of climate action. Um, in terms of circularity and environmental stewardship, it’s ensuring that the company and employees know what those potential impacts are on the environment. And again, having a strategy around this and engaging suppliers. The, so those are all kind of things that, you know, we’ve specific practices that, you know, you can see how a company might engage with them, you know, day to day for, for these last three, it’s really looking at what, what can the company do to engage in collective action with others? 24:05 And there’s some very specific, um, ways that that can be done managing how can the company manage its impact overall separate from those other core topics, uh, such as having a management system in place to ensure ongoing compliance with the B Corp standards. And then of course, the risk standards. Now, these already are part of the certification to that disclosure questionnaire that you filled out, um, when you got certified is, is one piece of that, but they’re, they’re proposing a few new things. My favorite, to be honest with you, is this last one here, which is that the company’s lobbying positions cannot be contrary to the company’s purpose or to bene or to jeopardize an equitable inclusive regenerative economy. So they’re really taking a close look at what are the things that, um, you know, no B Corp should be lobbying in favor of practices that are contrary to the, you know, equitable just inclusive regenerative economic system that we’re trying to move towards. 25:15 And I think that they’re trying to really think through what are those things that we need to make sure that B CORs are not doing so that, you know, you don’t, this is not a term they’re using, but it’s a term that comes to mind. So if there are like rogue B CORs that are misrepresenting what Blab is, or, you know, doing things to undermine the B Corp standards that, um, blab has some recourse and some protections in place around that. So those are the new requirements. Now, you might be sitting there thinking, Oh my goodness, <laugh>, this is a lot. And, and you’re right, it’s a lot. So I wanna just share with you a couple of things to hopefully, um, put your mind at ease regarding one thing that I’ve already been hearing from people, and that I think applies to this group in particular, which is, most of us here are running smaller businesses. 26:09 And so oftentimes the concern is, you know, these, some of these standards are for really big businesses. How, how is my small company going to be able to do this? And one of the things that Blab is really doing is looking at how they contextualize these standards. So they’re recognizing that they can’t just make a blanket statement and say, Okay, all companies have to do this without taking into account that there’s a difference between a sole proprietor, a micro business, and you know, a company like D. So, um, in this kind of snapshot of the requirements, what you see here is they are sharing the requirement here. So having a defined purpose statement, and they’re saying how you’ll need to meet the requirement. So all companies, regardless of your size, we’ll have to have a public statement describing, you know, how the company is, um, addressing its purpose. 27:12 Even a sole proprietor is gonna be doing that. But then they’re also saying, Okay, if you have more than 250 workers, though, you also have to have, um, some type of corporate strategy around how you’re going to meet your social and environmental goals in the short term and in the long term. So they’re not asking, you know, a five person business to put together a corporate strategy with short term and long term goals, but they are asking a company that has 250 or more workers to do that. So that’s just one example of how they’re contextualizing this. Another example is around fair wages. So this is, um, not just paying living wages, that’s actually FW one, but this is around kind of addressing the pay inequities. So for companies that have fewer than nine workers, they’re actually saying you have no requirement. So they are, um, I think recognizing that sometimes, you know, addressing, uh, pay inequities and really doing a pay equity analysis to do it properly takes, uh, takes resources, it takes, it takes money, it takes time. 28:28 And so I believe, this is just my speculation, that they’re probably saying no requirements, uh, for companies with fewer than nine workers because they don’t wanna place an undue burden on the smallest of B CORs. If you have, you know, 1, 2, 3, 4 employees, but then they start to look at, okay, at each stage of, um, kind of the company’s head count, what should the company be doing? So once you have 10 employees, you at least have to make a commitment to pay equity and let workers know how that compensation’s determined. Once you have 50 or more employees, in addition to these two items above, you have to publicly disclose the high low pay ratio. And then once you have more than two 50 employees, then you have to introduce pay scales. So again, they’re not saying, Hey, if you have five employees, you need to, you need to introduce pay scales and do all these other things, but they are, um, I think trying to be very thoughtful in terms of what does this look like for companies at different, um, you know, just different stages of growth. 29:36 So that’s, um, couple of snapshots. If you’re really interested in digging into this, I encourage you to, you know, take a look at the, at the 90 page pdf and there they really break it all down for you. I just wanted to share these with you just to give you an idea of what it’s looking like at this point. So, uh, what can, what can you do? Now, what this is, what I’m recommending, um, to our clients and to everyone else is familiarize yourself with a new requirement. Because if your company’s a B Corp, and if you intend to be a B Corp, as many of us have been B CORs for many years, we intend to be a B Corp for many years to come. Uh, this is going to affect all of us. So familiarize yourself with a new requirement. Um, keep in mind that they’re not set in stone yet, but do become aware that this is what, you know, you’re going to be evaluated as, um, on as a B Corp going forward and start letting others in the company know about this. 30:41 The, um, you know, if, if you’re a company of one or you know one, then you, you know about it. But certainly as the company gets bigger, let people know, Hey, this is coming up. Um, you know, we’re gonna have to think about how this affects our overall impact strategy going forward. If you don’t yet have a B team, this is a good time to start to pull one together. And, um, you can also start looking, you know, just doing a review of, Hey, how are we, how are we doing in these areas? Um, doesn’t mean that you need to really do, you know, get too into it, but if you start noticing, Hey, we’re not really doing anything at all around living wages or, you know, pay equity, maybe you start thinking about what, what kind of an what would an improvement plan look like? 31:29 You know, what can we do to start thinking about this at least so that we can start getting ahead of it. So the last, um, just two more things I wanna share with you a couple of questions. I, I’m, I’m seeing, I’m not looking at the chat, but I’m seeing the number just kind of keep increasing. So I’m sure that there’s some questions that have been dropped in there. And we’re gonna open this up for q and a, uh, in a minute. But questions that are coming up already is how will this affect my re-certification next year? If you’re due to re-certify in 2023, this will not affect you. These are not going to be finalized until December of 2023, so we’re still a year out from them being finalized. So if you are due to re-certify after that, what Blab has said is that you’ll have one pool certification cycle before these come into play. 32:28 Um, I am currently working with a kind of a larger client. They’re, uh, building out their overall impact strategy and they’re due to re-certify in 2024. So we’re trying to get clarification from Blab if that is going to affect them. Just trying to get a sense of that. Um, I think we’re going to be getting more guidance from Blab about exactly when different groups will be affected. They have already said it is gonna be a phased rollout, but if you’re due next year, just relax, it’s not gonna affect you. Um, another question that I’ve heard is, is this gonna make it harder to be a B Corp? Uh, I would say not necessarily. It’s not easy to be a B Corp right now, and I think we all know that it takes a lot of work. The certification has always been designed to recognize the leading companies. 33:22 It’s never been designed. So anybody that wants to can get certified, it’s really been designed to recognize those companies that are really, um, at the forefront of, you know, a really positive social and environmental change. So this is just another step in that evolution. And then, you know, what will happen to the impact assessment and the IBMs, um, I put the, I put in the word likely just because everything is subject to change until vLab finalizes it, but all indications right now. So the impact assessment is still gonna be there. It’s, except it’s gonna be captured under that impact management core topic. And the IBM’s, what’s really interesting that Blab is doing is they are taking into account that for many businesses, your impact business model is where you are having the greatest impact. And so if you earn more than 10 points in an ibm, then you’ll still be encouraged to complete the impact assessment, but you actually won’t have to go through the whole thing. 34:26 You’ll need to meet the requirements, and then they are going to want you to have identify one, um, goal to basically improve your ibm. So it could be like how you measure or manage, you know, the outcomes, right? It could, it could be any number of different things that we don’t have time to get into right now. Um, if you have fewer than 10 points in an ibm, then you’re still gonna have to fill out the impact assessment. But they’re trying to recognize, and I think especially for small businesses, this could really be a way of recognizing where you are having the biggest material impact without necessarily then also having to go through the full impact assessment. So what can you do next? Um, review the information on the B Corp site, and this is a great point, Christopher, if you haven’t, uh, already, if you don’t mind dropping those links into the chat because we prepared some links, um, that I wanted to make sure everybody had a chance to look at and, uh, take a look at it. 35:29 There’s a ton of information that Blab is making available. Um, one of those links includes a registration for a webinar that Blab is having on Tuesday. And so I encourage all of you, you know, if you’re interested in this, sign up for it and then, um, provide feedback to Blab by November 15th. So this is something where Blab is really, I think they’re going all out to make sure that they’re, that they get input from, um, from the community. So we have a month, just take the time, fill out that feedback survey because, you know, whatever this looks like a year from now, you have an opportunity right now to help co-create that. And if you have any questions, um, feel free to email me. Uh, I’ll be, I’m actually doing another learning session about this, uh, for the B Impact collective that’s gonna be next Thursday. At that point, I’ll be updating information based off of whatever Blab shares next Tuesday. And, um, and so yes, just consider me a resource because I’m, I’m keeping very close tabs on this. So with that, I will stop there and see if there are any questions.